The Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe
January 30, 2016
Winter time can be a slow time for boat related activities, which
makes it an ideal time to do research. I want to build a couple
kayaks, and where better to do research than the
Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum?
This was a Coot event, and we met at the Hawthorn
Fish House (which might also be the Corbett Fish House, I'm
not sure.) We had a great turn out - a dozen Coots all in one place,
plus a couple more at the actual museum. The food and beer here
is excellent - I can't recommend it enough.
I had the appetizer,
Cracked Pepper Crab and Cheese Soup over Crispy Fries - it was
very good and is probably what Poutine
wants to be.
The museum itself is one of those Portlandia gems: a home that
has been turned into a business, beautifully maintained, quaint,
and inside it is just PACKED with kayaks and canoes. Reproductions,
most likely made by Harvey himself, each meticulous in detail and
At the front, he has coracles
which you know have a special place in the heart of the
Toledo Community Boathouse.
Another with a flat . . . stern? Plus an example of a bamboo kayak.
I didn't like this bamboo kayak for technical reasons, but that's
This is a Japanese Tub Boat, a little more pointy than the tub
boats I saw on the internet, but the real message here is: People
will get on the water in ANYTHING that floats.
That's a cool anchor. I can make those.
He has the museum organized with Greenland-style kayaks on the
left side and Alaskan/Pacific kayaks on the right. The Greenland
kayaks are more homogeneous in style and technique.
The kayaks from the Pacific side of the world are very diverse
- from teeny-tiny boats for a single, small person, up to massive
3-holers that were used to carry missionaries around.
Here's another tiny boat, probably a lake boat or at least one
used in protected waters. The raised foredeck is most likely for
easy ingress rather than shedding water. Not pictured are examples
Harvey has of inland boats that were used to hunt swimming caribou,
almost all of them have raised foredecks as well.
One of my big questions was why the noses on Pacific kayaks are
split. The Internet abounds with hypotheses, and I figured Harvey
would have, if not the "right" answer, a pretty darn good
one. This is an un-skinned kayak, showing the skeleton.
Here's a skinned one. Harvey's explanation, which I accept, is
this design helps prevent spray. It's a brilliant, simple solution
that diverts splashes to the side. That's how you stay alive in
This is an example of how tightly a piece of 1/4" thick white
oak can be bent when steamed. That's why it is used to make the
ribs. Quite a few of Harvey's boats have ribs made of twigs and
branches made from willow or hazel.
One of Harvey's passion seems to be models - an excellent way to
get a good understanding of a boat's design without the expense,
space, and effort of building a full-sized boat.
That's Harvey over on the right. He is an excellent host and a
very patient in answering questions.
If you have an afternoon, I highly recommend spending it at the
Lincoln Street Kayak and Canoe Museum. You won't be disappointed.